Semi-trucks are massive machines. Have you ever wondered what happens to them when they break down on the side of the road?
If a semi-truck were to break down, it would need to be towed to a mechanic that can repair it. Have you ever wondered how would you go about towing a semi-truck?
In this article we are going explore this subject further, read on to find out…
Here’s the rundown on Towing a Semi-Truck
Towing a semi-truck is a difficult and time consuming process. It involves using a heavy duty tow truck and towing equipment. It is crucial that you hire an expert to help you tow a semi-truck, since there are some processes that need to be done to ensure safe towing.
Can you Tow a Semi-Truck?
Many people do not think it’s possible to tow a semi-truck due to their size and weight. However, sometimes they also need a tow. You might not see it as often as other vehicles, but it does happen occasionally.
Semi-trucks can often run into the same problems as any other vehicle would. Anything from engines to brakes and tires could fail on a semi-truck. If this were to happen, they would need a tow.
If a semi-truck were to break down, it would obstruct a large section of the road. This is a hazard to other vehicles on the road and it could back up traffic as well.
The process of towing a semi-truck is slightly different though. There are different vehicles and equipment used are different in order to tow semi-trucks.
Heavy-duty vehicles and equipment were designed to be able to tow semi-trucks. If this did not exist, a broken down semi-truck could cause some trouble on the roads.
Towing a semi-truck can be a difficult and time consuming process though. The size and weight of the vehicle means that the process needs to be taken slowly and carefully.
What Vehicles are used to Tow a Semi-Truck?
Standard tow trucks are not capable of towing semi-trucks. This is because semi-trucks are much larger and heavier than the vehicles they are designed to tow.
Instead, heavy-duty vehicles were built to tow semi-trucks. These are called integrated tow trucks, and they are built to be stronger and more durable than flatbed and hook and chain tow trucks.
Integrated tow trucks are equipped with booms and wheel lifts. This makes them strong and stable enough to tow semi-trucks.
They can also be operated from inside the vehicle, which makes them capable of quickly getting their job done.
What Equipment are used to Tow a Semi-Truck?
In order to tow a semi-truck, a few pieces of equipment will be needed. The equipment is specialized, and it needs to be heavy-duty.
The first is a proper tow truck. Standard tow trucks are not strong enough, and an integrated, heavy-duty tow truck will be needed.
The next is a heavy-duty winch. A winch is a powered mechanism that can pull or lift heavy objects. This is useful to position the semi-truck.
You will also need towing chains and tow straps. These are needed to secure the semi-truck to the towing vehicle to ensure that it won’t dislodge while it is being towed.
Finally, you will also need some wheel chocks. Since semi-trucks are extremely heavy, it is important to secure them in place when they stop.
Does the Semi-Truck need to be in Gear to Tow?
A semi-truck should never be in gear when towed. This will cause severe damage to the truck.
The truck should be kept in neutral to prevent the wheels from ‘locking’.
If the semi-truck is in gear, it is not capable of ‘free wheeling’. This means that its wheels will regulate it according to the gear it is in.
For example, if the truck is in second gear, it will not be able to go faster than its maximum second gear speed.
If it were to be towed at a speed that is incorrect to its gears, serious damage could be done to the transmission and the gearbox.
In some cases, the axle or the driveshaft needs to be removed to prevent the transmission from turning.
Can you Pull a Tractor in Neutral?
When towing a tractor, it should always be done in neutral. This is the safest way to tow a vehicle, and it is always recommended to always keep it in neutral.
The transmission needs to be disengaged to prevent it from being damaged. This prevents the road speed from being mismatched to the gear speed.
However, with most trucks, the axle or driveshaft needs to be removed in order to disengage the transmission.
If this is not done, the transmission could explode within a couple of miles of towing a semi-truck.
How do you Tow a Semi-Truck?
The first step in towing a semi-truck is to make sure that you have a capable tow truck. It needs to be heavy-duty and capable of towing heavy weights.
Before you start the process, you need to ensure that the broken down semi-truck is secure. Do this by placing chocks behind the wheels.
The next step is to use the integrated tow truck to hook up the semi-truck. Make sure to secure them properly to avoid disconnection during the towing process.
You can also secure it with towing chains and straps to create an extra safety barrier. These need to be in place in case something goes wrong.
With some semi-trucks, keeping the transmission in neutral is not enough to prevent it from being damaged. Instead, you may need to disconnect the axle or driveshaft.
During the process of towing a semi-truck, it is important to take it slow and drive carefully. With the massive weight and awkward size of a semi-truck, something could easily go wrong if you are in a rush.
Once you reach your destination, make sure you place the wheel chocks down again to secure the semi-truck and then disconnect it from the towing vehicle.
How to Tow a Semi-Truck with another Semi-Truck?
In order to tow a semi-truck with another semi-truck, you need to use a fifth-wheel wrecker unit. These can be found online.
They are used to convert semi-trucks into tow trucks. They can be used to tow just about anything you need.
In order to tow another semi-truck, they simply need to be facing away from each other. The hook on the fifth wheel wrecker unit connects to the kingpin of the semi-truck being towed.
Using this mechanism, you can tow other semi-trucks easily. However, they are expensive to buy or even rent.
Should you Tow a Semi-Truck on Your Own or Hire an Expert?
Towing a semi-truck is no easy task. It is a difficult job that requires a lot of skills and know-how to get right.
On top of that, with the size and weight of a semi-truck, something could easily go wrong. This could lead to even more expensive repairs being needed.
As such, it is highly recommended to hire an expert when it comes to towing a semi-truck. Experts know exactly what to do, and how to do it.
How Much does it Cost to Tow a Semi-Truck?
Towing a semi-truck is much more expensive than towing any other vehicle. This is because of the difficulty of the job and the time consuming processes involved in it.
Heavy-duty towing can cost anywhere between $170 and $250 per hour. While this might seem quite expensive, it is worth it.
An expert will have all the necessary equipment and experience to safely tow a semi-truck. If it were done wrong, more damage could be done, which would only end up costing you more money.